An online skills assessment programme that lets recruitment firms make selections for interviews on the same day as a vacancy first goes online has been launched in New Zealand.
The tests, by the BrainBench skills authority, are available at IT recruiter Sapphire Technologies to help agents weed out weaker candidates.
Sapphire says online recruitment has become so easy that instead of the company receiving 80 to 100 applications a week, each office receives 450. Sapphire Technologies has offices in Auckland and Wellington, as well as across Australia.
BrainBench, previously known as TekMetrics, claims to be the fastest-growing independent online IT testing and certification in the world, with more than 18,000 exams taken each week.
Its clients include EDS, Dell, JP Morgan, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers and a variety of online recruitment and training agencies.
Sapphire Technologies marketing manager Glenn Latch says the Internet has proven to be an effective recruitment tool that has improved the response time for receiving applications.
"This means we can receive a client requirement in the morning, post it to our Web site, receive applications, conduct interviews and have a short-list of applicants for the client to review by the end of the day.
"The downside is that it's so easy to apply for a job online, that we are seeing an increasing number of technically under-qualified candidates. By implementing online skills assessment, we are able to ascertain a candidate's technical ability to perform that role prior to interviewing them," says Latch.
Sapphire Technologies believes the service will be invaluable to both clients and candidates.
The client is assured a benchmarked skill level is being presented to them. The candidate can prove their strengths when applying for a role and also discover where they may need training, thus increasing their employment opportunities.
Sapphire Technologies managing director Mark Chote says the Internet will reduce the recruitment cycle by at least a third and the recruitment and retention of the right people is a company's biggest challenge.
"BrainBench is a tool that will assist the companies in their selection and shows how the Internet can be used to improve both the speed and accuracy of the candidate selection. Furthermore, our candidates have access to a tool that allows them to confidentially critique their technical abilities," he says.